|Match Preview||Recommended Bets|
|Melbourne Storm v New Zealand Warriors
Wednesday, April 25, 7pm (AEST)
AAMI Park, Melbourne
|Best: Melbourne -6.5 ($1.91)
Value: Melbourne 21-30 points/New Zealand 0-10 points ($9)
First Tryscorer: Felise Kaufusi ($19)
The Storm have bounced back in a big way over the past two rounds, hammering the Knights 40-14 in Round 6, and piled on the points once again in their 34-20 win over the Broncos last week. Jesse Bromwich misses this clash with a knee injury, replaced by Tim Glasby in the front row. Joe Stimson comes onto the bench. The Warriors proved they could be the real deal this season, with an upset win over the Dragons last week. The most impressive part of the victory was that Shaun Johnson and Solomone Kata didn’t take part, while Tohu Harris only played 27 minutes against the Dragons. The trio of Johnson, Kata and Harris won’t play against the Storm. Can they do the job away from home without three of their big stars?
Melbourne have now posted back-to-back wins against Newcastle and Brisbane, posting 34-plus in those wins. They now have a 4-3 record with the third best attack and fourth ranked defence. New Zealand are up to second on the ladder with their 6-1 record following their shock win at home over St George Illawarra. The Warriors have the third best attack while they rank fifth defensively.
Ryley Jacks v Mason Lino: Both Jacks and Lino have been thrown into deep end and now it’s time to see if they sink or swim in this traditional ANZAC Day clash. Jacks has replaced Brodie Croft for the time-being, but it’s the boots of Cooper Cronk which will prove difficult to fill. Jacks did plenty of tackling in the win over the Broncos, and it appeared to limit his effectiveness with the ball in hand. Lino has looked like a seasoned veteran in his two matches this year as a replacement for Shaun Johnson. He has scored a try and had a try-assist in each match, and has well and truly stepped up in Johnson’s absence. A road trip to Melbourne on ANZAC Day will be a big test!
Stats That Matter
– Melbourne are 4-3 ATS with a 4-3 over record while New Zealand are 6-1 ATS with a 5-2 under record.
– The Storm have a 22-16-2 all-time record against the Warriors, their third-worst all-time record against any team.
– The Storm have won four straight against the Warriors over the last two years with all wins by margins of six or more.
– Melbourne have won five of the last six meetings in Melbourne.
– Four of the last six meetings in Melbourne have topped 42 points.
– Melbourne are 22-19 ATS (25-16 under) at AAMI Park over the last four seasons with covers in six of their last nine.
– The Storm are 2-6 ATS at the ground after scoring 30 or more while they are 7-2 ATS when conceding 20 or more.
– The Warriors have covered their last three away from Mt Smart but just six of their last 17.
– Melbourne are 8-2 under on a quick backup since 2015 while the Warriors are 4-2 under.
The Wolf is taking the Storm to cover the spread here. They’ve hit top gear over the past two weeks, while the Warriors could struggle without Johnson, Harris and Kata despite last week’s shock win over the Dragons. The Storm have won four straight against the Warriors over the last two years with all wins by margins of six or more, and will lift for the big occasion.
How It’s Shaping Up
Melbourne by 14